2 Spring St
Stepping down into Gem cove feels like walking into a sunken treasure chest. The walls of the boutique are painted with rich, ocean-blue murals. Written on the walls by owner Valentina Krochik (and edited by her daughter when it sounds too Russian) are lines of original poetry. And the treasure? Exquisite handmade jewelry. Opened last August, Gem Cove features Krochik's own creations, as well as those from artists Krochik has met on her journeys from her hometown of Siberia to Hastings. Aside from their beauty, what really makes her designs stand out are their rare precious and semi-precious stones, including: Charoite, a purple stone found only along the Chary river in Russia; white buffalo turquoise, a stone whose color most closely resembles white marble rather than the green/blue of traditional turquoise; dark, syrup-colored Baltic amber found along the beaches of Poland and Lithuania; and plum-blossom jasper, a Chinese stone with flower-shaped bursts of color throughout. 'I think all stones are different, just like people,' says Krochik, a Fashion Institute of Technology grad.